Film Review: Bad Genius | Chalard Games Goeng (2017); Director: Nattawut Poonpiriya.

Bad Genius | Chalard Games Goeng

All Rights Reserved to the rightful owners. Bad Genius Press still 2. CinemAsia Film Festival 2018.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – 5/5.

Author: Feargal Agard | Runtime: 130 min. | Director: Nattawut Poonpiriya | Year: 2017.

Bad Genius | Chalard Games Goeng is a thrilling rollercoaster experience of university admission tests and mathematics. No film in a long time has made me root so much for the main character and feel the adrenaline that the main character must have felt during her nerve-wracking experiences. It’s crazy good!

Bad Genius | Chalard Games Goeng tells the story of Lynn (Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying), a top secondary school student who lives at home with her father. She is accepted into a very prestigious school and is able to earn a scholarship because of her academic achievements. It is there that she befriends the well-willing but not so academically talented Grace (Eisaya Hosuwan). Lynn helps Grace to cheat on the school exams, for money, to score better grades. Through Grace, she is approached by Pat (Teeradon Supapunpinyo), Grace’s rich boyfriend and slowly but surely she ends up helping a lot of students to score better with the tests for payment. Even though they are discovered by Bank (Chanon Santinatornkul) and outed to the school board, they decided to cheat on the STIC —an international standardized test for university admissions— for which they need the help of Bank and all others to be part of their scheme. A nerve-wracking international race against the clock ensues as they depart to Australia to do the tests whilst keeping their constituents in Thailand up to date. Will they make it?

Bad Genius | Chalard Games Goeng was directed by Nattawut Poonpiriya and the screenplay was written by him, Tanida Hantaweewatana and Vasudhorn Piyaromna. The film won Best Film award at the 2018 CinemAsia Film Festival. This movie is a highly suspenseful heist genre film, but also entertaining. It does an ingenious and rejuvenating take on its genre. Nattawut Poonpiriya exhibits an excellent talent in filmmaking as he takes us into a convoluted world of corruption in the academic world. Despite the thriller experience that he gives, his characters end up in quick-witted and extremely humorous moments. The film was inspired by the real-life news of students cheating on the SAT exams. Using that as a source of inspiration it touches on the thematical subjects of class inequality, but also teen social issues. The film stars Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying, Chanon Santinatornkul, Teeradon Supapunpinyo, Eisaya Hosuwan and Thaneth Warakulnukroh.

The acting performances were very believable and real. There is absolutely no overacting. We are introduced to two characters who come from families who do not have the highest incomes, but they are smart and intelligent. Besides that, we get to know two rich and obliviously spoiled characters, who believe that money can buy them anything. Even good grades and cheating an international standardized university exam. There’s no doubt that the actors play their roles well. Even though they all looked a bit too perfect, looks wise. But nonetheless, their magic is placed in the believability that they maintained and the feeling of excitement, adrenaline, and nervosity that they raise in you as a spectator.

The cinematography of this film is very accurate and fitting for the telling of this story. The cinematography maintained a fast-paced rhythm especially around the most exciting scenes, which enhanced the thrill of the story, but also the feeling that so many things could go wrong. Forcing you to sit on the edge of your seat while you hope that their plans succeed.

Bad Genius | Chalard Games Goeng is a must-see movie that will absolutely blow your mind away. If you are too stuck in Hollywood cinema and western culture films you should definitely give this film a chance because this masterpiece will make you appreciate Asian cinema a lot more. Go back to school with this film and join it’s ride because never ever has mathematics and school exams been so thrilling and exciting.

In theatres as from the 3rd of May 2017.

Genre: Thriller | Languages: Thai | Distributor: GDH 559.

In regard to all pictures and trailer footage. All Rights Reserved to the rightful owners. Bad Genius Press still 2. CinemAsia Film Festival 2018.

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